|Location||Sierra Leone, Northern Province|
|Central coordinates||11o 30.00' West 9o 20.00' North|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Lake Sonfon (5,180 ha) is situated in a remote area in the mountainous north-east of the country. The nearest large town is Kabala, 60 km to the north. The lake is surrounded by hills, the vegetation of which comprises open grassland and wooded savanna, with fringing forest and, in some places, farmbush. Several small streams flow into the lake and these provide the main source of water for local communities. The lake is a centre of traditional beliefs and ceremonies for the local people.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. A total of 105 species have so far been recorded from this poorly surveyed area. More species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome than currently recorded are expected to occur; among those which are known to be present is Coccycolius iris.
Non-bird biodiversity: Among mammals, Cephalophus niger (LR/nt), C. maxwelli (LR/nt) and Hexaprotodon liberiensis (VU) have all been recorded.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Emerald Starling Coccycolius iris||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Data Deficient|
|Splendid Sunbird Nectarinia coccinigaster||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-faced Pytilia Pytilia hypogrammica||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Dybowski's Twinspot Euschistospiza dybowskii||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|2013||very high||not assessed||negligible|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Energy production and mining||mining and quarrying||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||high|
|Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases||problematic native species/diseases - unspecified species||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||very high|
|Residential and commercial development||housing and urban areas||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||No management planning has taken place||Very little or no conservation action taking place||negligible|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||Arable land||10%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Freshwater lakes and pools; Rivers & streams||70%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
References Phillipson (1978).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Sonfon and environs. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/10/2015
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